Review: Spider-Man 2099 #5


2099-1“You want a fight? Come on! Let’s go!”

WRITER Peter David
PENCILER Rick Leonardi
PENCILER Livesay
COLOR Antonio Fabela
LETTERER VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITOR Ellie Pyle
SENIOR EDITOR Nick Lowe

After four issues the obligatory Spider-Verse intrustion comes to Spider-Man 2099…

SUMMARY: Somewhere out in the multiverse (Earth-9812 from Avengers Forever to be exact) Morlun takes out yet another Spider-Man while knocking heavies like Wolverine, Genis-Vell and Wolverine aside like so much cannon fodder. But this time it’s an alternate version of Miguel O’Hara, not Peter Parker. After draining this Miggy alternate, Morlun notices that yet another Miggy variant is watching across time & space via a portal. He departs to investigate, leaving Cap & Wolverine to stumble along and talk about how hard they just got schooled and how much they hope Morlun won’t return.

Back in Marvel ‘s Earth-616, Miguel O’Hara immediately feels the adverse affects of one of his future variants being massacred across the multiverse. The resulting psychic feedback almost allows a group of robbers to escape in a helicopter but Miggy still manages to make short work of them – while also noting that it felt like “he” had just died. He pauses to ponder the imponderables.

2099-2Over in Earth-6375 (from Exiles comics) a bearded Miguel O’Hara (who witnessed Morlun via the portal) tells his apparent girlfriend Mary Jane (wha huh?) that Morlun is hopping around the multiverse killing Spider-variants. He explains that he’ll head to Earth-616 since – as the one place where Morlun ‘died’ – it might be safer. Mary Jane shows obvious concerns and tells Miggy that she’s going with him, like it or not.

Back at Alechemax in Earth-616, Miggy is questioning Tiberius about the company’s involvement with the Scorpion. When Stone tells Miggy that they arranged to have Scorpion released from prison to work with them, Miggy hits the roof. He says they can’t do business that way and in a moment of frustration exclaims that they should be building super-prisons. This catches Liz’s ear; she likes the idea, especially since Parker industries recently looked into doing the same thing. But while they talk it over, Morlun kills the Miguel of Earth-96099 (the alternate reality from the Timestorm story) along with his father. Miguel experiences another psychic feedback attack in front of Liz.

Miggy excuses himself and consults with Lyla on what might be wrong with him. She tells him that aside from stress and a liver ailing from too much drinking too much booze recently that she can’t find a cause for it. Miggy makes his way to the roof and suits up as Spidey 2099, ready to start looking for answers – but then a portal opens. Before Earth-6375’s Miguel can step through he is murdered by Morlun, in front of Miggy’s eyes. Morlun throws the 6375 Miguel through the portal and down at Miggy’s feet. When Miggy recognizes who Morlun is (as well as the fact that he is supposed to be dead) he challenges the murderer instantly. This makes Morlun hesitate, and the portal from 6375 closes.

Our story ends with Miggy realizing he needs to find Peter.

ANALYSIS: Even fantastic titles must inevitably suffer the consequences of bloated event crossovers, and my current favorite title was no exception. Unfortunately we’ll be dealing with Spider-Verse injecting itself into these pages at least through the eighth issue.

I admit to being unfamiliar with most of the variant multiverses presented here with the exception of the Avengers Forever Earth. And to be honest, seeing Morlun show up and overwhelm Captain America & Wolverine so badly – to the point of being glad Spidey’s murderer escaped justice and not showing much of an interest in going after him – kinda irked me. I’m not used to Cap and Logan being portrayed with so much “give up” in them.

The best points in this book come with the continuation of Miguel’s ongoing story. The discussions with Tiberius and Liz help navigate through the forced Spider-Verse segments and help move Miguel’s story through a minefield of event interruption. Parker Industries wanting to build a super-villain prison had me shaking my head in disbelief, but Alchemax wanting to get involved made a ton of sense. It also makes me wonder if we’ll eventually see some conflict between Liz and her brother Molten Man down the line because of it.

Rick Leonardi steps in here with the penciling and while I’m thrilled to see Rick back with Peter David working on Miguel stories, I would have preferred a different inker. Very much so.

REVIEW: B-

The interesting stuff we’d been following has been interrupted by event du jour comics – and will be for quite some time. Peter David’s doing the best he can right now with what he’s been given. I’m just hoping the forced event stuff doesn’t work against the title building a strong following.

EDIT: I hadn’t noticed this until just now. While Brad and I were talking via text about the inking done in this issue Brad also pointed out to me that the cover doesn’t properly credit Rick Leonardi. Instead it credits regular penciler Will Sliney (whose work I do enjoy very much). C’mon Marvel! Wait, lemme guess. Hydra’s fault, right?

–George Berryman!

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(19) Comments

  1. Al

    Finally read this book. I respect George's opinion but I would've given this a D at best and a D- at worst because of the Spider-Verse event. It's just boring pointless violence.

  2. Jason

    "Parker Industries wanting to build a super-villain prison had me shaking my head in disbelief, but Alchemax wanting to get involved made a ton of sense." Can you elaborate on your thinking behind this? What's with the seemingly random Earth numbers? Do these specific numbers have any special significance? Are there really 9,812 versions of Earth?

  3. Francisco

    Despite the derailment of the main plot with SV taking over, I love the little character bits thrown in here. Like how Miguel, absolutely terrified of Morlun and seeing another him dying, still taunts the villains and tells him to get it over with. It's such a simple, yet effective moment that shows both his humanity and his heroism.

  4. Mike

    Well, i hate to say this, there are ways to read these books without buying them you, know. And I'm buying DAN SLOTT over peter david. 2099 just doesnt interest me unless he's in context of a "spider-verse" style event. It's not that it's marvel, it's that it's spider-man. Hawkeye is a solid and innovative book, so you can't say a spider-man cash grab-rip off character is the best book at Marvel. I loved peter davids 80s peter parker stuff and death of Jean dewolff is my favorite super hero story of all time. Over born again, and dark knight returns. I love Peter David, but i'm sitting here holding my wang in my hand reading 2099 and wondering why I can't get it up!

  5. George Berryman - Post author

    @9 - "The purple haired lady isn’t interesting, neither are liz or stone." If you can't get how much more interesting Liz is right now (and yes, Miguel's situation with Tiberius Stone as well) then there'll be no reaching you on this title and I won't waste my time trying. @10 - Yeah that contradiction was a headscratcher. :cool:

  6. Raul

    I really enjoy this issue and the tie-in didn't felt force to me at all. I like the fact morlun is afraid of 616 spiider-man. But I don't why Parker Industries building a prison is a bad thing though. @9- Miguel is not a spider-man "ripoff" he's a legacy hero and a good one too. You should give this series a try, it's pretty good. I wish Peter David takes over the main book once spider-verse ends, but that seems really unlikely.

  7. AmFan15

    @ 11- Exactly. I've been enjoying this comic quite a lot, up until this issue. Although it had its good points as well, all of the momentum the book was building up came to a stop to tie in to Spider-Verse. Instead, most of the book was devoted to introducing alternate versions of Miguel, only to kill them off a few pages later. The only actual plot development we got was Alchemax considering the idea of a super-prison...which has frankly been done too many times in the past several years (This time, Parker Industries, and Civil War, just to name a few.) "Unfortunately we’ll be dealing with Spider-Verse injecting itself into these pages at least through the eighth issue." Sigh...I hadn't realized that this thing was going to be going on for that long. That's very discouraging.

  8. Big John

    @8,9,&10: Maybe Mike has a point about our reluctance towards a Peter David book being a tie-in so early in its run, because, as JR has said, older fan-boys like some of us have long memories. However, the last time Peter David was on a Spider-Book and we were all excited about it, it was constantly bound back by frequent tie-ins ("The Other," Civil War, the Initiative, "Back in Black," OMD, etc.). To our credit though, I think that it is fair of us to be reluctant because history seems to be repeating itself, and "those who don't learn from historyaddayadda." And, to be fair, George qualifies his lack of enthusiasm towards this book's tie-in status by giving examples of how it distracts from the main narrative of the story (not familiar with alternate universes, Miguel's sub-plots put on back burner for Spider-Verse, et al.), so it's not like he, and those of us who share a similar opinion, are irrationally harping on this book because we're giving, I think, valid reasons to support our opinions.

  9. AmFan15

    @ #8 & 9 - Well, Mike, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. In mine, Spider-Man 2099 is the only good comic Marvel is publishing right now. It's just bogged down by being involved in a crossover so early on. Also, PAD is a true professional writer, and one of the best out there. He can not only make an exciting plot and interesting characters, but can also actually make the reader think...as opposed to most of today's writers, who mire their books in inconsistencies, paint-by-numbers plots, and pointless over-the-top shock value. I would gladly read any Peter David comic over almost anybody else. "Well, I haven’t been buying 2099 till spider verse." "This was the best 2099 issue yet, because THIS will actually tie into spider verse." You realize that these two statements kind of contradict each other, right? If it's the first issue you read, then of course it's the BEST issue you've read! :)

  10. Mike

    And you guys weirdly seem to have pre judged spider verse just because it's an event. I'm actually starting to see what the negative reviews are about. You guys manage to crap on every cake in the window. Honestly miguel o hara and his new book is just NOT interesting. It's mediocre, old-fashioned and slow. Not to mention a SPIDER-MAN knock off. The purple haired lady isn't interesting, neither are liz or stone. You guy's need to admit when you just have a hard-on for Peter David. This was the best 2099 issue yet, because THIS will actually tie into spider verse.

  11. Mike

    Well, I haven't been buying 2099 till spider verse. I was happy with it. This isn't Daredevil afterall...

  12. ItsMichaelReid

    Im glad Im not the only one who felt this issue was jarring. These Events need like a keeper that looks over the Event to make sure If it doesn't effect the quality of its best running books because as a producer in a dying print industry I would think you would try to keep the quality of the book as high as possible or risk loosing readers. But hey,what do I know?

  13. QuilSniv

    Does anybody else notice that Morlun in that one shot looks kinda like the Hat from the Superman vs. The Elite continuity? Huh... Guess Marvel's been taking more out of DC's hat than I thought.

  14. George Berryman - Post author

    Actual text exchange between Brad and me from earlier today: GEORGE: "2099 #5... the inking done on Rick Leonardi's pencils is almost criminal." BRAD: "I so agree."

  15. scarletspider77

    I worry about sales figures with this title. I love it and want it and Peter David to stick around. It just seems like the Spidey corner is gonna get really crowded next year and I hope 2099 doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

  16. Big John

    Nice review George! Was that Avengers-Miguel from "Avengers Forever"? I haven't actually read that series, but I remember seeing some issues of Captain Marvel where Miguel guest-starred and thought that 9812-Miguel was from there? Alas. Anywho, I liked how David explained why Morlun and his family are so hesitant to go to the 616. I've been wondering. And, yeah, while its cool to see Leonardi back drawing Miguel, I thought that his inks could have looked better too. I didn't get Liz's logic though when she was all, "Oh yeah - Parker Industries just failed to implement this idea, so why don't we give it a go?" Wouldn't it be kind of nonsensical to try and build something that has proven ineffective? Maybe she's thinking Alchemax can make it better, but, I dunno, that just took me out of the issue.

  17. Ben

    Great review George. David is working to make the Spider-Verse material interesting, and he'd doing a pretty good job. Until this issue I'd never really clocked how many alt universe Miguel's there were. "The interesting stuff we’d been following has been interrupted by event du jour comics – and will be for quite some time." - It just hit me how long Spider-Verse is running, and how long it's going to be interrupting this book. :(

  18. Frontier

    That's actually a neat idea about Molten Man showing up eventually and taking issue with Liz' company building a Supervillain prison. It would be nice to see him again, and a tangle between him and Spidey 2099 could be fun. Just curious, but what about Parker Industries building a prison has you shaking your head? I admit, I got a kick out of seeing a version of Miguel in a strong relationship with MJ.

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